Based on secret code discovered in the iOS version of the app, Twitter might soon begin allowing various new methods to answer tweets — the long-rumoured option to respond with emojis and downvotes now appears to be closer to deployment than ever.
That’s according to reverse engineering tipster @nima own (via 9to5Mac), who has dug into the Twitter app code. These functions aren’t currently available to consumers, but it appears that the program is establishing the framework for them.
Rumours concerning Twitter reactions have been circulating for months. When they arrive, they should function similarly to Facebook’s comparable feature: you’ll be able to add a thinking face, a sad face, a smiling face, a clap, or a heart to every tweet you see on the network.
On the other hand, the downvotes function is something we’ve heard about previously, this time from official means. With more of the Twitter app code now geared up for downvote support, it appears that it will be more generally available shortly.
According to what we know so far, Twitter will employ downvotes to screen out spammy and abusive comments. The author of a downvoted tweet will not be alerted, and downvotes will not display publicly on the timeline, although there will be an option to conceal downvoted tweets and responses.
There hasn’t been any official word from Twitter on when these capabilities will be available, but given that they’ve been in the works for months, it shouldn’t take too long — keep an eye on the Twitter app on your phone.
There’s no denying that Twitter can be an enormously entertaining, instructive, and exciting digital space to be – but it’s also true that nasty and unpleasant remarks are standard on the network, particularly when it comes to specific themes.
With emoji reactions and downvotes, Twitter is providing itself with a slew of new methods to collect data about the quality of a tweet – whether or not it’s worthy of being seen by the general public – which will be valuable for automatic moderation.
The reactions also contribute something that Twitter doesn’t have a lot of right now: subtlety. Of course, the options to like and react are pretty helpful, but there are moments when you want to demonstrate empathy, start a round of applause, and so on.
While any change to Twitter is sure to enrage some of its users, these two upcoming adjustments appear to be well-thought-out, valuable additions to the social media platform’s functionality – and we’re excited to be able to check them out.